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# 65: "Clay Aiken's Not Just Any Joe"


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I'm sure Clay expected many interpretations of his blog. I was surprised he didn't say "discuss among your selves". :cryingwlaughter:

With the current political situation in NC and the decimation of the school system, I wouldn't be surprized if Clay changed his mind about sending Parker to school here. The NC legislature is trying to take over the Wake County school board after the Democrats regained control of it. Hopefully this was not the main reason he might be leaving NC. I'm looking forward to whatever it might be.

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I waded into the discussions elsewhere and got the gist of the speculation, hand-wringing, etc. I reread the blog. I'm still in the same place.....terrified for myself that he won't sing anymore, happy for him whatever it is because it sounds like he really has had an epiphany about what he wants and needs in his life. I'm going to try not to worry about it and if that means stepping away from the boards for a while, I'll just catch up here.

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Yeah, I'd love to be part of that private concert thing. I doubt it will happen for me, though....

I love that tease....he's so funny.

Just noticed...Clay's renamed the blog. Therefore:

A little more information .... (this blog can travel)

09/17/13 at 3:48 PM By: Clay Aiken

… but not about what you want clarification about.

Sorry. ;-)

As for the piano….

I'll be honest. I'm surprised by the level of enthusiasm and interest that it seems to have gotten.

My first intention was to simply list it on eBay and say nothing of it. A friend told me that I should mention it was mine, but I thought that would be tacky.

Then another person said, "If you really want it to sell, go use the piano to sing at the person's house"

That's where the idea came from. And even then it was just to sing for the person.

But the idea grew into an opportunity to do a little in home mini-concert for someone… something I've always thought might be neat.

I have had no plans to mention the mini-concert offer to anyone outside of the "fandom" (here at OFC and beyond) and I still don't plan on it.

I always assumed their might be one person or group that might bid against whoever else was bidding for the piano alone, and if that one fan group happened to win, I was going to add the mini-concert to the package as a bonus just for them.

I was all ready to have it posted on eBay, but someone sent me a message on Twitter and suggested an alternative. Now it seems that there is an incredible amount of interest from enough fan groups that it may make more sense to just let groups bid on it directly through us without going through eBay.

But in order to do that there need to be enough "groups" of fans who are interested.

Since this seems to be a lot bigger than I expected it to be, let me lay out a few things for you guys to ponder….

-- The piano is a 2004 Baldwin R1 Grand. It's just under 6 feet long, so measure your living room. It's worth $30k, so bear that in mind when preparing your bids. Also, it was used on some of the tour dates for the 2004 JNT tour (the ones where the venue didn't provide a piano) if that matters to anyone. It's in pretty much MINT condition because, besides those dates and the rehearsals for the 2007 JNT tour that we held in my living room, it's almost never been played!

-- If groups of folks want to pool money to buy the piano so that they can attend the mini-concert, thats fine by me. However, there's only one piano… and you've got to cover the shipping costs to get it to you. But y'all have to figure out which of you gets to keep it. We ain't cutting it in 30 pieces and mailing it out! Ha Ha

-- The mini-concert has to be held in a private place. In other words, you can't buy the piano and then rent out the local auditorium and have me do the performance there. If there is not enough space in your home, then I will discuss other alternatives with the winner (or a representative of the winning group). However, It's just 30 people, so don't think you can sell tickets to folks. This is a chance to do something intimate with some fans in a different setting. I've sung in auditoriums. I don't wanna do that here.

-- The mini-concert will be just me and a piano player (Ben or Jesse, only if they are available) and somewhere around 10 songs "curated" by me. Additionally, since it's in a private home, it gives us a chance to be a bit more interactive. So, if there are songs suggested by any of the 30 members in the audience that both myself and the piano player know, we may be willing to try them. But I can't make promises.

-- The evening event would be limited to about 3 hours. I ain't spending the night folks!!!

-- The in-home mini-concert really should be scheduled and completed by the end of the year this year (if at all possible). Not a deal breaker… we can push it into 2014 if we must… but it would be ideal to do it before the end of this year. Scheduling will be easier.

I have already heard speculation that there are at least two or there groups of fans who are interested in bidding on eBay. If there really are that many, then I would hate for fans to lose out to some random person on eBay.

If there is enough interest, we can move the "bidding process" off of eBay, save you guys the eBay charges, etc and guarantee that a fan/fan group gets the piano and not some rich dude in Saskatoon!

But… we can only do that if A) there are enough groups and B) if those groups want to bid via email.

So, I've had someone set up an email account pianoconcert@duraleigh.com

If you are a member of a group that is looking to bid on the piano, have ONE representative of the group become your designated bidder (probably should be the person getting the piano) and have that person reach out to Cheryl atpianoconcert@duraleigh.com letting her know that there is interest from your group and whether you would rather bid privately via email or bid on eBay. Just one representative please. She confuses easily! ;-)

Do it ASAP so we can decide whether or not we are to post on eBay.

Talk to you soon.

and see 30 of you "at home"!


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FYI, the Saturday blog was re-titled as well:

I've learned, to fly, you have to want to leave the ground. (this blog can travel)

09/14/13 at 5:43 PM By: Clay Aiken

Summer is winding down and what an interesting and unexpected summer it was!

It had been my intention to take most of the year off in Raleigh this year, and after such an incredible experience with Drowsy at NCT I felt fulfilled and satisfied that I was good for 2013.

When the last minute call came for Joseph at the end of June, I hesitated for a bit. Two months away from home? No thanks! but the folks in Ogunquit were persuasive, to be sure, and the support that the show received from you all was more than enough to make it worth the while.

For those of you who were not able to come up, I encourage you to make a trip to the coast of Maine at some point. I have ALWAYS (and will always) maintain(ed) that there is no place in this nation that has the sheer beauty of NC. We have the most amazing beaches, the most pristine and beautiful piedmont and mountains like nowhere else in the world. Nowhere, in my estimation, could hold a candle to NC and her beauty. Maine gave us a run for our money this summer. Hopefully, you'll have a chance to visit that part of the world some summer. It's truly breathtaking. And when you do, say hello to my friends at the Clam Shack and the Sugar Shack in Kennebunkport, they really made our stay in Maine special.

For those of you who were able to attend, again I must say that you surprise me at every turn. Initially I was concerned that fans would be unhappy, because I really did so very little in Joseph. One song at the beginning, one song in the middle, and a repeat of the first song again at the end, and the rest was just a lot of standing around looking appalled! Ha Ha.

But the audiences (YOU) were incredible. Apparently, Joseph became one of the highest grossing shows in the theatre's history and you made them the most enthusiastic, for sure! Most importantly you gave the rest of the cast a summer they won't forget.

It's easy to take for granted the enthusiasm of an audience and the energy at a stage door after a show when it's been a part of my performance life for the past decade. I've always said that no group of fans is a dedicated and enthusiastic as you are. So screaming crowds and crowded stage doors are not a new phenomenon to me; you have spoiled me so well! ;-)

But for so many of my fellow cast and friends those "standard features" for me were new and exciting and really inspiring for them. It was nice to be surrounded by young girls and guys who are doing what they love because they love it and not for adoration. But to see how incredible your support of them made them feel made my sumer so much better and so much more enlightening.

I've always said that long term continuation of this particular career path is not necessarily something I see myself doing forever. Feeling the energy amongst those young people really made me appreciate even more how fortunate I have been over these past 10 years.Thank you!

You made Keala feel so special, that she is going to be joining us for the gala this year! And I couldn't be more excited or appreciative. You heard that voice! And now I finally get to sing with her!

Knowing that the tenth anniversary of the release of MOAM is upon us in just barely over a month is humbling. It's caused Simon and I to discuss actually doing some more things this calendar year in hopes of commemorating that.

There are going to be some changes coming in 2014. Some big and even disruptive ones that will leave some of you very excited and, sadly, may leave some of you upset and disappointed. I'm sure we all agree, though, that as we all grow individually, we have to follow our hearts and do the things that we feel are best and most impactful for us and answer the call that we feel we need to answer. So, in the coming months, before I make any transitions of any kind, we want to do some of the things that I haven't done over the past decade. A bucket list, so to speak.

We are hard at work on some events that will allow us all to get closer together. More intimate, if you will. As those plans develop, we'll be letting you know. They will hopefully be taking place before the end of the calendar year and some will require some travel for folks. (Just letting you know) But if we can pull them off in the way we hope to, they will be incredibly special and intimate events like none I've ever done before.

In the spirit of things I have never done before, and in the spirit of making changes in life Living in NYC and Maine for the summer (and can I say how impressed I am that no one ever found out where I was living in Ogunquit!?) I had a realization about the amount of space I will likely be moving into when I finally move out of my house! I could fit a big NYC apartment into my house 7 times over! So I've got too much crap!

I'm going to keep most of it and store it. but a few special items I am going to sell/part with. Some things will never make the move with me and just seem too cumbersome to store. One of them perhaps the most special one will be going up for auction at this years 10th Anniversary Champions Gala! The jukebox that took the stage with us every night on the Jukebox Tour in 2005! It's been in my basement for years! And while it's certainly a great memento to keep, it will do so much more good for the NIP and the kids we serve, than it will ever do for me! It's in mint working condition! Heck We only turned it on for the lights during the tour. Signed, with pictures, a custom made traveling case, and authentication. I hope it will make a great addition to someone's home and do some great good for the foundation in the process.

So be ready for that in October. It's a big deal! We've NEVER auctioned off something so significant before!

Also on the bucket list: Arsenio told me that one of the FAVORITE things he ever did when his show was on the air in the 90s, was taking the entire production and doing it from a viewers back yard. Ever since he told me that, I've always thought it would be fun to do a performance AT THE HOME of a fan.

He had a TV show production budget to do that with; I don't so we've come up with a hybrid idea that combines two goals for me.

The only other thing in my house that I feel like I need part with before moving is the grand piano in the living room. There's just no room for that anywhere I go. And storing it would require climate control and way more headache than its worth. It, too, is in mint condition and it's the piano that was played for several of the dates on the 2004 and 2012 JNTs. While it holds significance I can't play it that well and I certainly can't take it with me. So I'm going to sell it. It's a Baldwin and is valued at a high price so when we post it for sale I thought (and Simon agreed) it might be fun to make a special offer to any of my fans who may want to buy it from me.

I'm going to list it for sale publicly (I'll probably have some one put it on eBay for me or CraigsList.. or something.. I don't know how to use that mess) but I'm telling you all on here (and any other fans on other message boards that this word gets to) that if it sells for at least the minimum amount and if a fan buys it and references this blog. once it is set up in the location you decide to put it in. I will come (with Ben or Jesse or some player) and perform a mini concert, in your home (or wherever) for you and up to 30 friends.

Now it has to go for the minimum set on the listing I ain't gonna give a big piano away for $5000 and then fly to Topeka to sing in your house. But as long as the reserve is met. whoever is the highest bidder on that eBay auction can mention this offer, and I will work with them on scheduling a PRIVATE performance, using that very piano, in their home with up to 30 people. (Now if you wanna sell tickets to friends to help you cover the cost, thats up to you. but they don't get the piano, you do so you are on your own trying to figure that out!)

I'm not going to have this performance offer mentioned in the eBay posting. its just for established fans and supporters but this post is your written offer and guarantee and also, I wanted you to now that the piano is legitimately mine when it goes up online. It's certainly something I have never done before and probably never will again. it frees up a LOT of storage space I need for my move. and it goes a long way towards helping me check things off the bucket list. So watch for that in the coming days.

As I said, we continue to work towards looking for chances for me to perform and sing for you between now and December. When the calendar flips pages into 2014 and our direction and course veers in a different direction, I want to know that I have done as many unique things as possible.These past ten years have been INCREDIBLE and unmatchable and its been because of you!

I'm certainly not going anywhere, and look forward to seeing you during the rest of 2013, 2014 and beyond!

I've learned, to fly, you have to want to leave the ground! And that's just what we're going to do!



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